Turn Signal on Behalf of the Car Ahead While Driving?

Blue modern car closeup of headlight

Q: Someone I know uses the turn signal to signal if a car in front of us is turning. I say we shouldn’t because the vehicle behind us will then expect us to turn. We should only signal what we are doing in our vehicle, correct?

That sounds very strange to me! You’re right, brake lights should do the trick and a signal when you aren’t turning could easily get you into trouble… What happens after the car in front turns, you then suddenly turn off your turn signal and continue straight ahead? when oncoming traffic thinks you’re turning and so do the cars behind and all around you? This sounds pretty dangerous if you ask me. Just my opinion..

Also it should be common knowledge that when driving in a left lane, sooner or later you may have to wait for someone to turn left, this is a fact of life! Just like if you’re driving in the right lane, you may have to stop because the car in front of you is turning right and stopped for a pedestrian. Drivers should be used to these everyday occurrences… shouldn’t they?


SAE International: (not exactly the same issue, but definitely related)

“The data presented here should serve as a wake-up call to all citizens, vehicle manufacturers, research institutes and government entities that are involved in vehicle safety. A greater focus is needed at the highest levels to create an overall awareness that turn signal neglect is an injury and death problem, as well as a property damage problem, and that the in-vehicle technology to combat this is available and adds no cost. Turn signal neglect is a problem that causes more crashes than distracted driving and if “neglect” of the use of turn signals is the message in this study, then “neglect of the neglect” is the story of the automotive safety community.”


Carmen Cohoe

Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in beautiful North Vancouver, BC, and taught many drivers for almost a decade including brand new drivers, drivers from various countries, and seniors, using automatic & standard vehicles and a minivan. She created BC Driving Blog in 2012.

4 thoughts on “Turn Signal on Behalf of the Car Ahead While Driving?

  1. I have to respectfully disagree that that is evidence. Brake lights signal that traffic is slowing. That should be an indicator that something is going on ahead that required the stop. (Unless someone is a jerk) The car in that video recklessly decided to pass a semi with a lack of understanding as to why the traffic was slowing. That isn’t the semi’s fault for not signalling. It’s the impatient driver’s fault who decided to blindly pass.

  2. https://rumble.com/v3dkns-how-not-to-pass-a-semi.html?mref=6i76&mc=8jxox

    This video shows the reason that a courtesy signal in order to indicate a turn by the driver in front of you can be helpful in avoiding certain types of deadly accidents. I’m not advocating either way, but obviously the practice has some merit.

  3. Is there any country in the world that has the traffic laws to abide by that the driver should turn on his rear right turn signal to let the car behind you pass you from the left? This may sound a lot weird but my country in Asia has just implemented it not long ago? Can anyone answer me?

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